Cima Brenta 3150 m
Cima Brenta 3150 m is a powerful and massive complex of dolomite rock which stands at the Northern end of Brenta Central Range, to the South of Bocca di Tuckett. It's Brenta Dolomites second highest summit and lies in the middle of its namesake group. Cima Brenta is connected by the South Ridge to the Spallone dei Massodi, while the shortest North Ridge falls on Bocca di Tuckett. From the Eastern summit, the highest one, it detaches another powerful ridge facing West and connecting the main summit to the Western summit at 3122 m of altitude. Here the ridge forks in two parts, giving origin to the West and the North-West sides, well characterized by the two long ridges: the West ridge forms a colossal rampart on the right side of the Valley of Brentei, above Rifugio Brentei, and culminates with Cima Mandron 3040 m and Punte di Campiglio 2969 m and 2876 m.
The long, rugged North West ridge connects Cima Brenta to Cima Massari, above the Rifugio Tuckett, originating a long succession of fifteen different-looking needles (Torri di Cima Brenta, also known as Torri di Kiene). The two ridges enclose the Vedretta di Brenta Superiore (Upper Brenta glacier).
The Northern aspect of the peak has a distinctly different character, at least as long as some vestiges of the snowfields that cover the north and northwest faces remain. To the north a frozen slope descends to lower Vedretta di Brenta, near Bocca di Tuckett. The Eastern side consists of a large and formidable yellowish wall which drops into the head of Val Perse. Two of the famed trails of the Brenta Group, Bocchette Alte and Sentiero Orsi, cross this face and meet at Bocca di Tuckett, the far end of Cima Brenta's north ridge.
The rock of Cima Brenta is Dolomia Principale, as for the other celebrated peaks of the central part of the group. It tends to form vertical walls with plenty of holds. It is quite abrasive, especially on the less-traveled routes, but otherwise a climber's dream. Buscaini and Castiglioni in theis guidebook "Dolomiti di Brenta" note that the peak has been known under several different names. Such a case is not uncommon in the Alps. Toponymic order was eventually brought by the publication of an essay by N. Bolognini in 1875.
The first ascent of Cima Brenta took place in August 1871 by the British mountaineers Douglas Freshfield and Francis Fox Tuckett with the alpine guide François Devouassoud from Chamonix, who climbed the upper Vedretta di Brenta situated on the West side of Cima Brenta. The route of the first climbers is now rarely followed, in favor of another route which is now considered the Normal route to the top and which is described in the next chapter.
The closest town is Madonna di Campiglio.
Road access to Madonna di Campiglio m. 1514
- Coming from A22 Brennero Motorway (direction towards South) exit Trento Centro, then follow the SS 45 towards Riva del Garda and Tione, getting to the village Le Sarche. From here take the SS 237 reaching Ponte Arche and Tione. In Tione turn to right and follow the Val Rendena road getting to Pinzolo and Madonna di Campiglio.
- Coming from A22 Brennero Motorway (direction towards North) exit San Michele Mezzocorona, then take the Val di Non road, getting to Cles, Malé and Dimaro. In Dimaro leave the main road and turn to left on the Val Meledrio road, reaching Folgarida, Passo Campo Carlo Magno and Madonna di Campiglio.
To approach Cima Brenta from the North one can start from the Rifugio Tuckett and climb up to Bocca di Tuckett to take Bocchette Alte. To approach from the South the starting points are either Rifugio Brentei or Rifugio Alimonta. All these mountain huts are reachable from Madonna di Campiglio. Refer to the Brenta Group main page for general directions to the area.
From Madonna di Campiglio m. 1514 a level road reachs the parking of Vallesinella (4 km. from Madonna di Campiglio). Pay attention: on Sundays from June 15th to September 21th, from 9.45 to 18.15, and all the days from June 28th to August 31th, same time-table, the road is closed to the private cars. In these periods a minibus-service starting from Madonna di Campiglio is available. In the same period paying parking in Vallesinella (5 euro). By walking in 45 minutes.
There are two main routes to get the summit of Cima Brenta. Both the normal routes present moderate technical difficulties, but require good routefinding ability and have a distinct mountaineering flavor.
- South side Normal route
This route is nowaday the most frequently attended to get the summit of Cima Brenta. Great itinerary, which reaches the second elevation of the Brenta Dolomites, along a route, although easy, always exciting and various. The difficulty does not exceed II+ (UIAA scale), but for security it is recommended to use a rope along some stretches of the route. The starting point to climb is Rifugio Brentei. From the shelter take the path to Rifugio Alimonta, reaching and passing a bottleneck. After this latter, leave the trail to take the scree on the left, rising to a rocky ramp. This is the start of the route.
It climbs the ramp, a bit to the left of the edge, then continuing along the edge. You get to an easier ramp, from where diagonally to the right you head towards the obvious ledge above. Once reached the ledge, follow it crossing to the right. This stretch involves overcoming a pair of grooves and some exposed passages. You get to the base of a large gully, which has yellowish high walls on the left. Keep the right of the gully and climb the first rocks, getting the base of a sloping gray wall, very carved.
The climb, grading UIAA II degree, allows you to reach a rocky and debris ramp. Follow it reaching another ledge. Traverse rightward on the ledge, reaching the starting point of the ending rock amphitheater. Climb up the amphitheater, choosing the easier route. This brings you to the summit ridge that shortly leads to the summit.
North side Normal route
Instead, nowadays, most climbers reach the summit via the Normal route from the North, which is a relatively short detour from Cengia Garbari (Garbari Ledge), which is part of the via ferrata "Bocchette Alte".
From the Refuges Tuckett and Sella take the path n. 303 leading to a crossroads: on the right we have the "Sentiero S.O.S.A.T." (low 305), on the left the "Sentiero Dallagiacoma" (315). Proceeding on the smooth rock slabs we arrive at the bottom of Vedretta di Brenta inf. The Vedretta may show different aspects depending on the season, anyhow, as almost all the alpine glaciers, it's affected by the climate and inclined to shrink more and more.
We rise along the glacier (an axe can be useful) up to Bocca di Tuckett m. 2648 where we find the path 305, also known as "Via delle Bocchette". From the pass we follow the right path, dedicated to Enrico Pedrotti, who begins to rise provided of iron equipment. We're going up the great northern shoulder of Cima Brenta. Continuing finally we come out on the so-called "Cengia Garbari", a ledge a little narrow and rocky. We walk almost the entire ledge until, before it shrink and increases its difficulties, we will notice a little higher up the trail marks. We are at about 2.955 meters (2 hours from Refuge Tuckett). Following the trail signs and cairns we begin to climb a debris gully, rising about 40 meters. Soon we head to the right to reach a ledge. From here we take another steeper rock gully, but with numerous holds, always following the cairns. The climb is elementary climb but it must be done with caution. After about 80 meters we arrive shortly below the summit ridge still not visible. We turn left, ignoring the cairns on the right, getting shortly on a notch: in front of us we have the summit and just below a snowy saddle, we must reach this latter with a short descent and go beyond it. Passed the slender ridge we follow the cairns again that lead us to climb the last stretch, almost a path, then get to the top ( 1 hour from Cengia Garbari), where we find a cross and the summit book.
The snow routes should be approached with utmost care in the current conditions. The retreat of the snowfields has exposed lots of unstable detritus, making the snow chutes the theater of frequent rockfall. The shrinking of Vedretta Nord, in particular, has affected the normal route from the north, which crosses its top.
Some other twenty major routes reach the summit of Cima Brenta. They are described in Dolomiti di Brenta by G. Buscaini and E. Castiglioni.
No fees no permits required. Cima Brenta is part of Adamello-Brenta Natural Park, the largest protected area in Trentino, established in the year 1967. It's located in Western Trentino and with its 620.51 square kilometers includes the mountain groups of Adamello, Presanella and Brenta Dolomites, separated by Val Rendena. Follow the "leave no trace" approach. The whole Brenta Dolomites area had been acknowledged inside the Unesco World Heritage and deserves the best care and respect. More info on SP about "Dolomites Unesco World Heritage" here:
The standard climbing season is from July to September. The snow routes, however, may be in condition, if at all, in May-early June, when, however, one may have to contend with avalanche danger.
Camping is available in S. Antonio di Mavignola (Campeggio Faè, +39-0465-507178). The mountain huts that are most convenient for Cima Brenta are Rifugio Tuckett (+39-0465-441226), Rifugio Brentei (+39-0465-441244) and Rifugio Alimonta (+39-0465-440366).
Information about conditions in the park can be obtained by calling the National Park offices in S. Antonio di Mavignola:
Punto informativo - foresteria Viale Dolomiti di Brenta, 14 S. Antonio di Mavignola Tel. 0465.507700 firstname.lastname@example.org
"Dolomiti di Brenta" - Gino Buscaini - Guide dei Monti d'Italia CAI-TCI